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The name Dzūkai (Dzukish, the Dzuks) – refers to the largest (in terms of numbers) Lithuanian national minority, inhabiting the north-eastern part of Poland – right next to the Polish-Lithuanian border near the town of Puńsk and the cities of Sejny and Suwałki. The name “Dzukowanie” (the Dzuks) is a purely ethnographic term and refers to a pronunciation variant that is different than the literary version for some sounds such as /t/ and /d/, as /ts/ and /dz/. Linguists and dialectologists use this term to describe southern Auksztocian (lit. pietų aukštaičiai) whose speech is characterized by “dzukowanie”. Determining how numerous the Lithuanian minority is in Poland is not easy, because sources from different years report inconsistent data. However, it can be estimated that about 5,000 to 6,000 Lithuanians reside in the territory, most of whom are people who speak Dzukish in their everyday life.
Linguistic landscape of Punsk